`Olive Oil Consumption Increases Testosterone in Men With Insufficient Levels - Olive Oil Times

Olive Oil Consumption Increases Testosterone in Men With Insufficient Levels

Apr. 23, 2021
Paolo DeAndreis

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Newly-pub­lished research shows that fol­low­ing a low-fat diet may lower testos­terone lev­els in men by up to 15 per­cent.

While the study sug­gests that low-fat diets may neg­a­tively impact the pro­duc­tion of the impor­tant hor­mone, one of its co-authors said sup­ple­ment­ing with extra vir­gin olive oil may help.

Our study indi­cates that diets high in monoun­sat­u­rated fats may boost testos­terone pro­duc­tion.- Joe Whittaker, nutri­tion­ist and researcher at University of Worcester

Our results show that going from a diet of 40 per­cent fat to a diet of 20 per­cent fat decreases testos­terone lev­els by about 11.5 per­cent on aver­age, and 15 per­cent in men of European descent,” said Joe Whittaker, co-author of the study and a nutri­tion­ist and researcher at the University of Worcester.

To put this into con­text, most men in Western coun­tries eat around 35 per­cent [fat in their diet],” he told Olive Oil Times. So, if these men try a low-fat diet, their testos­terone will prob­a­bly decrease.”

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The researchers selected six pre­vi­ous stud­ies to gather and ana­lyze testos­terone vari­a­tions on a sam­ple of 206 par­tic­i­pants. These stud­ies found that testos­terone pro­duc­tion may be boosted by high intakes of monoun­sat­u­rated fats such as those found in olive oil, avo­ca­dos and nuts.

According to the study’s authors, there is sci­en­tific evi­dence about a supe­rior effi­cacy of higher fat diets than low-fat diets.

This is par­tic­u­larly true with diets high in healthy fats such as monoun­sat­u­rated and polyun­sat­u­rated fats,” Whittaker said. The Mediterranean diet is a per­fect exam­ple of this.”

Our study indi­cates that diets high in monoun­sat­u­rated fats may boost testos­terone pro­duc­tion,” he added. This is sup­ported by other research. For instance, one study found that replac­ing but­ter with olive oil increased men’s testos­terone by 17.4 per­cent.”

Whittaker empha­sized that olive oil con­sump­tion is a safer way for men to opti­mize testos­terone lev­els, which are crit­i­cal for male sex­ual and men­tal health, while not increas­ing their risk of heart dis­ease.

Many stud­ies link low testos­terone to depres­sion, car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, dia­betes, Alzheimer’s dis­ease and other dis­eases,” Whittaker said. Although these stud­ies are only asso­ci­a­tions, there are some strong causal links between low testos­terone and an increased risk of dis­ease.”

He also empha­sized how pre­vi­ous meta-analy­ses found that giv­ing testos­terone replace­ment ther­apy to men with low testos­terone and dia­betes improved their well­be­ing.

See Also: Europe Limits Use of Trans Fats in Foods

The researchers have also spec­u­lated that the lower testos­terone lev­els induced by low-fat diets might occur more often in men of European descent. Whittaker said he thinks this may be due to the evo­lu­tion­ary his­tory of men with European ances­try.

Plants do not grow well in the win­ter, par­tic­u­larly in Northern Europe, so our ances­tors were forced to sur­vive on high-fat ani­mal foods,” he said.

After the agri­cul­tural rev­o­lu­tion, which took place about 10,000 years ago, Whittaker said that Europeans con­tin­ued to eat high-fat diets, with dairy and cheese becom­ing a sta­ple.

Also, olives have been a sta­ple crop in the Mediterranean for thou­sands of years, so there is prob­a­bly some adap­ta­tion to a high-fat diet in those areas too,” he said. In con­trast, if you think of some­where like Japan, their tra­di­tional diet is heavy in rice and seafood and is essen­tially a low-fat diet.”

Whittaker the­o­rizes that pop­u­la­tions that evolved eat­ing a low-fat diet were less likely to have their testos­terone lev­els neg­a­tively impacted but empha­sized that fur­ther research is needed to con­firm this.

Whittaker said that the researchers are cur­rently inves­ti­gat­ing the steady decrease of testos­terone lev­els in men from indus­tri­al­ized coun­tries, which has been hap­pen­ing since the 1970s.

The research so far has largely focused on chart­ing the decline in testos­terone,” Whittaker said. There has also been a lot of research into the decline in sperm counts. A large study found sperm counts have decreased by 59.3 per­cent in Western coun­tries from 1973 to 2011.”

So, we can see male repro­duc­tive health across the board (testos­terone and sperm lev­els) is declin­ing quite rapidly,” he added.

While chem­i­cals in plas­tics and other con­sumer goods prob­a­bly play a role in what is hap­pen­ing, another fac­tor is diet, said the researcher.

Diet qual­ity has decreased, and processed food intake has increased,” Whittaker said. Obesity and dia­betes have risen dra­mat­i­cally since the 1970s, obe­sity has nearly tripled world­wide since 1975, and both of these have strong adverse effects on testos­terone lev­els.”





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